Regular exercise is a given if you want to stay fit and healthy. Exercise impacts every part of your health from weight loss and management to cardiovascular health and blood sugar management. You may wonder just how much exercise you really need and how often you need to exercise.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should shoot for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to 300 minutes (5 hours) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. It is also recommended that strength training be included two days a week.
While these numbers are not set in stone – you can do more or less as your schedule, goals and routine permit – it is a good baseline to consider.
In Today is Still the Day I share strategies to incorporate short periods of activity throughout your day, which is extremely important. I believe the bottom line is not so much spending a specific amount of time at the gym or working out at home as it is to build activity into your day. The more sedentary you are and the less you move throughout your day the fewer health benefits you enjoy. (Watch for a blog on this subject in a few weeks!)
Obviously it will also depend on your goals. If you are trying to lose weight, build muscle and increase strength, you will want to create a different routine than if you simply want to maintain healthy weight or improve your circulation or heart health.
One caution: yes, you can exercise too much although for most people the opposite is the issue. Overtraining can result in muscle soreness, injury and increased inflammation. So being sure to have the right combination of exercise as well as rest and recovery is key. Creating inflammation will cause more problems. So keep in mind more is not always better.
Finally besides choosing activities you enjoy and will keep doing consistently, be sure to vary your routines. Your body is extremely intelligent and if you do the same type and amount of exercise day in and day out, your body will stop responding and you won’t make any progress. You want to vary the type of exercise, amount, duration and intensity regularly to keep your body surprised and getting the most benefit from your efforts.
How often do you exercise?
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Exercise is a nonnegotiable daily habit of mine. I always feel better after, even if I didn’t feel like it at the time. The benefits go far beyond maintaining a healthy weight. Heart health, mental health, sleep and so much more we probably don’t know. Looking forward to that future post!
It’s a non-negotiable for me too Holly. I just don’t feel right when I miss my time.
As a longtime Type II diabetic, I’m always amazed to see how much activity improves my blood sugar control. In fact, on days when I am more active around the ranch; more walking digging, lifting, etc., the less insulin I need. Exercise is a great way to lower your blood sugar. Eating several small meals, rather gorging yourself two or three times a day is another way to help control your levels. Thanks as always for great tips that help us live a better life Ms. Ann.
Absolutely J.D. Staying active definitely is a huge help for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.
Ann, since COVID, I am afraid I have gotten out of my routine. My husband and I used to be part of a weekly class to boost our exercise and mix up our routine. This is a good reminder I need variety. Thanks!
Glad I could provide a reminder Debbie. It’s been difficult for so many people this past year because of all the restrictions.